The Hopeful Future of the Malay Novel

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Time and again, I lose myself in the maze of shelves at the bookstore.

At one of the remaining major bookstores in Penang, I cruise – as usual – from South-East Asian to English literature, bypassing the home and cooking section and doing a fly-by at the comics before ending up at Malaysiana.

The books are well arranged, and the colourful spines and front covers catch my eye. I hardly ever pay any attention to this particular section, but I grab a title off the shelf anyway – Terlanjur Mencintaimu (Unintended Love). It is a glossy, pale blue book with randomly arranged pictures of sunflowers. Standing next to it is Saat Hadirnya Cinta Dia, sharing similar characteristics with the former, but fancier.


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